Picks and Pans Review: Roast of the Town

updated 02/23/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/23/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Joey Adams

For reasons perhaps known only to masochists and the otherwise perverse, a phenomenon known as the celebrity roast has infested the land. Much of this book, put together by "the number one roastmaster in America," an oldtime comic who also writes a syndicated joke column, is made up of insults offered on such occasions. Said Joan Rivers of Elizabeth Taylor, "I won't say she's fat, but she had a face lift and there was enough skin left over to make another person." Said Miss Taylor of Miss Rivers, "Talk about big mouth—when Joan yawns, her entire face disappears." Don Rickles said of Frank Sinatra, "When you enter the room you have to kiss his ring. I don't mind, but he has it in his back pocket." This book also includes a dictionary of insults and jokes on such topics as actors, old age, bosses, colleges, fashion, golf, losers ("He's such a loser, he gets cavities in false teeth") and ugliness ("She looks like a professional blind date"). This sort of stuff on television is embarrassing and degrading both to those who perpetrate it and those who are obliged to watch. Somehow it seems even worse to put all this meanness into a book. Anybody got a match? (Prentice Hall Press, $15.95)

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